Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Chapter 11: The Yeti comes and goes

As I said in Chapter 1, I eventually got a taste of the high compression, or "Yeti", engine.  We found out late in 2003, that at least a couple cars other than the works 2002 version Focus(es), were benefitting from it.  I had some more doubt about something being fishy with engines, on a superspecial in some rally, when confronted to the "third" works car on a parrallel start.  When we reached the end of the long opening straight, he had already pulled away. 

We specifically asked for the Yeti engine in our 2004 deal.  2004 was a bit of a difficult year, logistically speaking.  Unlike 2003, where one rally car sufficed to go from event to event, we needed two.  So we bought a second car for that year.  Their plates were: Y6 FMC and Y3 FMC.  The Y6 car was to be used on European events and Y3 for all the long haul, overseas stuff.  The problem was that, apparently, they had only one Yeti engine to spare for me.  So we decided that it would be fitted on the Y6 car.  They were apparently also short of titanium parts and low ride cross members as well, so the kit would be fitted on the Y6 car and carried by luggage by the guys (kudos for that, guys) to the long haul rallies, to be fitted on the Y3 car on location.  Both cars were built around the old spec roll cage.

A good view of the right side of the workshop, with a peek of the works machines down on the left.

Ok I know this was a bit complicated.  Hope everyone followed.  Don't worry it gets easier now.   

So we drove our season, had our ups and downs.  The low ride height and better revving engine car was really nice.  I liked it a lot, especially on fast rallies.  It's main advantage, over what I had driven before, was the increased precision and stability at high speed.  I wish we would have had more time to work on the diff maps as well, to improve stability and traction some more.  As a customer, we did not have access to any worthwhile maps.  Looking back at it now with much more knowledge acquired, especially during my 2005 season, when I finally got access to some official diff maps, if there is one wish I could have it would be for that knowledge.  In those days, a good diff map resulted from thousands of kilometers of testing, and therefore 100's of thousands of Euros in budget, impossible for us.  It was really difficult to figure out what to do without this capablity or access to the maps.  2005 was a real eye opener on that respect....Anyway, back to our topic....Sorry, I get carried away about diff maps easily.  Perhaps I should make a separate chapter on that story.  So, as I was saying, that 2002 Focus with special parts was a big boost, for sure.  It's hard to say how much better exactly, but for a guy like me, maybe 1,5sec/km better than the old one in some places. 

Around the end of 2004, time came for me to part with both cars, because the 2005 deal required me to rent the car.  So they were taken back to England, rebuilt, and put on sale. 

At some point in time I got a phone call from Juuso Pykälistö, who was interested in one of the cars.  He asked a couple questions about them, I told him:  "...just a moment...need to make a phone call...I call you right back."

So I dialed for my usual contact over at the Manor and got the business manager on the line, told him Juuso wants the car and will run it in the Finnish Championship.  I asked him if I could tell Juuso about the special parts and the Yeti engine.  Answer was:

"no, don't..."

So I told him anyway. 

Called him back and said he could have it, but there are these other parts and engine that....well, you know....don't exist.

It was ok for him, deal done.




  1. "Sorry, I get carried away about diff maps easily. Perhaps I should make a separate chapter on that story."

    Yes please.

  2. Ok, since you ask so nicely.

  3. Thanks for these Chapters that have been a real eyeopeners to the most of the readers. Keep them coming.

    I know that these things are happening and knowledge isn't shared with everyone even in lower stages of competition. That's just the way it is. I always respect when someone tells me what the real case is with something.

    Competition should be done behind wheel, not behind the curtains.

    -Rally driver from Finnish F-cup

  4. One more who would like to know more about diff maps :)

    And again many thanks for posting this for wider audience!

  5. Good writte. I do rally myself and understand about cars diferences, but never ever thought that privat enter, paying big money and trying to get maximum support from manufacturer's team, could have such a big difference. Maybe because M sport is private company, which first aim is to get money from privateers and everything else is doesn't metter...

  6. You pretty much say it all there.

  7. I sat in Y6 FMC while it was at M-Sport in 2004 and they werent impressed that I nearly fired it up...oops!

  8. Very interesting. Enjoy your frank storytelling.